Q&A: Paul McCartney
London — Paul McCartney is back with us, has a new album, some thoughts on leading the happy life, and several succinct words about Allen Klein.
The new album, due out in the United States and England on April 17th is one that Paul has recorded by himself over the past few months. Paul describes the origins of the music as “starting out in little bits and pieces, including tunes and melodies from five years ago.” Most of the recording was done at home.
“I play all the instruments myself. From very early on, when our bass player died, I have been lumbered with the bass. All the time, however, what I really wanted to do was play guitar and play lead, so that’s what I’ve done on the new LP. And I’ve played all those things I’ve always wanted to play. I played bass, drums, guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, organ, bongos, and rhythms and things — there aren’t many more instruments than that. If you ask if I play violins and balalaikas, the answer is nay.
“The only other noise on the album is my wife helping with the harmonies. We had a lot of fun together. We decided we didn’t want to tell anyone what we were doing or go to any companies. We went off to the studios without telling anyone and that way it gets to be like home at the studio. No one knows about it and there is no one in the studio or dropping by wanting to leap in on us with their hang-ups.
“And it was just swell working with my wife again!”
Allen Klein, it turns out, does not manage nor does he represent Paul McCartney.
When directly questioned on this point several months ago (Rolling Stone, November 29, 1969) Klein emphatically stated that Paul McCartney had overcome his initial reluctance to sign with him, and had in fact signed a management/representation contract.
Paul completely and totally denied this. “The thing is that I am not signed with Allen Klein because I don’t like him and I don’t think he is the man for me however much the other three like him. I have read in Rolling Stone that he said those things, that he said I signed a contract with him, but it is not true. Paul McCartney did not sign any contract with Allen Klein. The time has come where I’ve got to let him know that.”
About this, and about the Beatles in general, one of the points Paul makes is this:
“In the very early days of the Beatles, we sort of thought of ourselves as a democracy. But nothing ever came to a vote — the chemistry of the four of us made the decisions naturally. John dominated the group in making the decisions and John and I dominated the group musically. What’s happened now is that each of us has become very strong individuals in our own right. Now it has to be a four way decision. There has to be a vote and it has to be a more democratic thing.”
The following is the complete conversation with Paul, covering the above points and many more: